3Com Goes After Rivals With New Promotions

3Com offers competitors' customers deals in LAN switching and telephony areas.

3Com Corp. is taking aim at its competitors with a two new promotions being detailed this week to its partners and resellers.

3Com, of Santa Clara, Calif., in a promotion called "Margin to Win" is offering a 10 percent rebate on the last negotiated price to both resellers and end customers in deals where they choose 3Coms LAN switching products over those from competitors Enterasys Networks Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., Cisco Systems Inc. and, to a lesser extent, Nortel Networks Corp., 3Com officials said. The promotion applies to 3Coms SuperStack 3 Switch 4400SE and 3Com Switch 4005.

A second promotion in the telephony space is targeted squarely at customers of Nortels widely deployed Norstar PBX system. 3Com is offering to Norstar customers who move to 3Coms IP PBX a free module for its NBX 100 Communications System that would allow them to use their existing Nortel phones as IP-based phones. The module, Citel Technologies CitelLink IP Handset Gateway, is valued at about $2,000, officials said. 3Com is also offering as many as three free Citel cards to Norstar customers who move to the higher-end 3Com SuperStack 3 NBX chassis system.

The LAN switch promotion is particularly aimed at taking market share from competitors, said Dave Smith, vice president of Americas sales and service at 3Com. He views Enterasys and HP as the most vulnerable. But 3Com also wants to continue its push against Cisco, which had an earlier promotion offering resellers cash rewards for rebidding Cisco LAN offers with 3Com products. The earlier promotion has driven $2.5 million in business, Smith said.

"Our message to the world is that theres an alternative out there—an alternative to differentiate yourself and an alternative for you to make more money," Smith said.

Smith said the new promotions are aimed primarily at about 350 key reseller partners in North America, many of which are attending 3Coms partner conference in Atlanta preceding NetWorld+Interop.